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Thanks to the expansion of companies and the adoption of cloud systems in order to manage the massive amounts of data many businesses deal with on a daily basis, the landscape of technology across the enterprise landscape is slowly changing to something quite different to what we’re used to. Identity Access and Management (IAM) and Customer Identity Access and Management (CIAM) have become pertinent areas of discussion for any company that deals with access to data on the cloud. There are currently three SAP-based management solutions that can be implemented to aid in IAM and CIAM: SAP Customer Identity for CIAM scenarios, SAP Cloud Platform Identity Provisioning for IAM scenarios, and SAP Cloud Platform Identity Authentication. Each of these have their specific use case scenarios and present a standardized methodology in dealing with cloud accounts at a business level.

B2E Usage of IAM

The B2E scenarios that most businesses face are easily managed by SAP Cloud Platform Identity Authentication (for the enforcement of single-user sign-ins) and SAP Cloud Platform Identity Provisioning (allowing for identities to be used in defining accounts). How this benefits a company stems from how the system is able to translate the employee's authentication and account information into useful privileges for data. In such a case, if an employee were to be involved in a project which is then completed or transferred to another department, updating the relevant account would lead to the revocation of access to the data associated with the project. Similarly, in the case of termination, the employee would lose access to all data on the network as his or her account is removed. Based on how it impacts an employee, the implementation of a B2E system usually originates in the HR department or within a recruitment solution, and directly ties the new employee's information into a Microsoft Active Directory (or some other network privilege management solution) so that responsibilities can be updated as necessary. After this is done, authentication can be managed by the SAP Cloud Platform Identity Authentication system, which supports a wide range of options such as biometric login, standard username and passwords, smart cards and signed digital certificates.

B2C Usage of CIAM

CIAM is usually used to deal with customer accounts in public-facing sites. CIAM doesn't deal with user accounts in the same way that IAM does, but rather allows companies to define the type of information that they require in their user accounts. Usually this means walking a fine line between using what the company has in terms of data and protecting that data from external threats inside a Bitcoin wallet. The CIAM solutions provided by SAP allow for a more in-depth understanding of the customer while at the same time allowing for the customer to remain in control of their own personal data. This latter portion is especially useful in the modern world thanks to legislation in some parts of the world. The system is initialized via an opt-in for certain services along with consent for the company to manage the customer's account for them. From there, additional contact with the customer allows further data to be generated and updated, building out a complete customer profile. CIAM solutions usually offer a number of ways for sign-in including the standard username and password, but also SAML and OpenID Connect. Additionally, API's can be easily integrated into CIAM's in order to make them more flexible within the mobile space.

Exploring the SAP Solutions for IAM and CIAM

Both SAP Cloud Platform Identity Provisioning and SAP Cloud Platform Identity Authentication deal with primarily B2E scenarios, usually involving employees and contractors and tend to work well with one another. SAP Cloud Platform Identity Provisioning is best used for user provisioning as well as identity lifecycle management. SAP Cloud Platform Identity Authentication is more suited to a system where a single-sign-in is established with all services linked to a particular user. SAP Customer Identity forms the CIAM portion of the cloud management strategy for SAP and is best utilized when dealing with customers, potential customers, and prospects. Thanks to its ability to integrate with social identity providers, it can be used as a branding enhancement tool, and can lead to more seamless interaction with clients. In future, SAP intends to make SAP Customer Identity more consumer-centric, allowing for further customization of the user experience as well as gaining consent to drive directed marketing.

Maintaining Standards of Operation

IAM and CIAM systems are a necessity in the modern business environment because of the types of sensitive information that a business stores and uses. SAP Cloud Platform Identity Authentication and SAP Cloud Platform Identity Provisioning allow a company to use a highly integrated suite to manage access to internal data while SAP Customer Identity is a system designed to build a database of customers and slowly fill our consumer profiles for each of them based on current and previous interaction while still protecting that user data from being exploited by a third party. People have become very aware of their security and for a company to maintain the level of security the consumer demands, having systems like these in place is not simply an option anymore, it has become a necessity.
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